I read the reived, and I disagree with your assessment. I think HP had some trouble with a sibilance from the single ribbon used, and was curious if multible ribbons were used instead, and or if some of the sub-cabinets were larger. He would definitely use them for multichannel systems and states this in the review. This could make Coincident a lot of green.
I believe he found them a fascinating review since they revealed the sonic characteristics of the amplifiers used so effectively. I took his criticism as a challange to Israel Blume, the designer, to make small modifications that would then make this speaker the killer of the Alon's, Pipedreams, and other high five to six figure speakers. Just imagine a $12,000 speaker that beats the pants off of the no limitation exapmles, among others (I'm sure they are super fine, but not everyone has unlimited funds). It would be beneficial to you to reach the previous years or so issues of TAS with HP giving teases as to what came in the review. My take was he wanted them to be the "giant killers". I would also look for Mr. Blume to respond, this would be very insightful, at least to me, and I am tempted to e-mail him.
Finally, as a lover of Rock and Jazz, but not classical, these may be great speakers with moderate watt tube amps for me. Not everyone needs to reproduce the orchestra in their home.
Try them out, don't let the "old man" deter you if you like them.
I own these speakers, and I just read the review. My reaction was that HP overall really liked the Total Victories, but found a couple of areas where their peerformance wasn't to his taste. Fair enough, though it says something about his perspective when he characterizes a $12,000 speaker as being essentially in the middle of the pack :-/
Do I agree with his assessment? Well, I've never identified the shortcomings he described (a problem in the low range of the tweeter, and another glitch around 100 Hz) in my own system. This could be due to several factors. My highly damped 12x18 room is probably very different from his. My amps (Wavelength Tritons) are very different from anything he tried. My digital front end (an Audio Note 4.1x Balanced Signature) sounds better through the entire treble range than any other DAC I've heard. My preamp (a Bent Audio TVC) adds very little character to the signal. My cables (Argent Audio Pursang) are by a wide margin the very best I've heard.
There are other reasons I may not have heard these shortcomings. I certainly don't have the experience or standards for comparison that HP does, and it might also be that the music I play doesn't highlight the problems.
So, it could be that the problems he discusses just aren't there in my system, or maybe they are there but I can't identify them. I really can't say which is more likely (though I know which I "want" to say is more likely...).
I had a get-together with four other audiophiles over the weekend, all of whom are very experienced (TAS Issue 1 subscriber types) who have extensive exposure to various models of Israel's speakers. The consensus was that my system is doing pretty much everything right.
So what can I say? HP is one man, albeit a very experenced and astute one, listening in the context of his own systems and his own expectations. In the context of my system and my expectations, I find the TVs to be utterly satisfying, even magical music-makers. IMO they're worth every nickel of $12,000. And anyone who takes the printed word of one man over their own judgement is missing the point of this hobby.
Israel Blume's speakers are very well designed and executed, and any time you're trying to build a very high efficiency speaker you'll have to make some compromises. That being said, how many upper-90's efficient, easy-to-drive, low coloration, slim profile, yet still having a very nice bottom end speakers are out there? Sure HP picked a nit or two, but I wonder how many speakers whose midrange he wouldn't fault can rival the liveliness of the big Coincidents, much less for same ballpark price.
Nope, I don't sell 'em - but I do admire 'em.
The review is also a great read, one of HP's better efforts in a while. I really like it when he struggles with getting a grasp on a component and it causes him to reassess things, which the Coincidents apparently did. It would have been interesting if he has actually tried playing them with some low-power amps. I mean, bridged CJ 140's--why? ( Yes, he used other amps, too.)
The $4,599 Victory with ribbon tweeter was one of only a few speakers (ProAc Future .5's, Merlin VSM-M, ATC active's) that made me question my speaker purchase.
Much more detailed, lively and involving than Eclipse series IMHO. I don't know why they haven't got more press.
I couldn't disagree with Divo's premise more. It was a very positive review of a product Pearson found both challenging and revelatory. Pearson explicitly stated that the few problems he had with the speaker should be taken in the context of its excellent overall performance.
The review was for the Eclipse series, not the Victory series. The Victory had the ribbon tweeter.
Cdc, Sue Kraft reviewed the Eclipse (though it was really an amp review). HP reviewed the Victory. Same issue.
HP's review is exceptionally positive, in the context of an HP review. He fully realises that every component, no matter how excellent or expensive is flawed. He will devote as much attention to the faults of a piece of gear as he does top its
strengths. This is in sharp contrast to most audio reviews with which we have grown accustomed.
HP,in the review states very clearly, "At the outset-and I want you to keep this in mind- whatever shortcomings I found, the Victorys were never less than spectacularly impressive and capable of virtually all the fidelity you could ask for." If this is not laudatory, then I fail to grasp the meaning of the word.
Furthermore, it must be remembered that HP has included the Total Victory in his Super Components list. That speaks for itself. Only the world's best components are so listed and most of them, unlike the Total Victory, are stratospherically priced.
In his review, HP found essentially only 2 flaws, both of which he considered fairly minor. There was a slight bass hump in the midbass and secondly, in the 3khz region he found that the tweeter could sound congested when pushed hard.(when HP states pushed hard, we mean played at extremely loud volumes) The good news is that both of these problems were rectified in early 2002, after the first production run of the speaker. HP's Total Victorys were manufactured in late 2001.
We are currently in the process of sending HP a current version of the speaker(which has been unchanged since March 2002)so that he can hear for himself that even those 2 relatively insignificant flaws have been banished.
I know(in countless phone coversations and emails)that HP is
exceptionally impressed by the Total Victory and believes them to be quite an achievement.
I actually did not read the review as I have not received the issue yet. Two people who did, misinformed me obviously. Since I have been impressed by my brief encounters with this design in the past, I was keen in getting a better sense from actual owners, as a counterpoint. Thank you for the responses thus far.
Thanks Drubin, I gotta take another look.